Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mendel Beilis -- "I didn't look at the body"

This is the summary of the 23rd day of the Mendel Beilis trial, which occurred on 17 October, 1913 on the Julian calendar, 30 October, 1913 on the Gregorian calendar.

This day occupies pages 219 through 252 of Volume II of the transcript.
 See the translation of the transcript for day 23.

Statements 555-569 show the questions that the psychiatrists will testify about on day 24.

Today an embarrassed Kosorotov opens the session with a nasty tirade about the fact that he belongs to a certain imperial organization that gives him status and credibility.  This is supposed to be a hit back at Dr. Pavlov who made him look like an idiot the day before.  The problem is that in it he says things about anatomy and medicine that are factually the opposite of the truth.  Then watch the defense attorneys turn him upside down, getting him to agree with Drs. Pavlov and Kadyan, and contradict hmself.  It’s a beautiful performance and ought to leave him shamed and humbled.  See particularly statement 151 in which Kosorotov admits to Karabchevsky that the heart injury was not fatal, although the rules and regulations of forensic medicine say all heart injuries are fatal, and his example of a similar situation he was involved in.

One thing to remember during Kosorotov’s peroration is that he is speaking in 1913.  One hundred years later, doctors can do things Dr. Pavlov couldn’t dream of, let alone the less factually informed Kosorotov.  The real problem is that he has been paid only half of what has been promised him for testifying in this case and he may have reason to suspect that he won’t get the other half unless he vigorously defends the second autopsy and the conclusions the government wanted to support from it.

Kosorotov knows absolutely of statistics that 1% of heart injuries are NOT fatal if the right measures are taken at the right time, and another 9% need not be fatal under a lesser standard of care.  He is not capable of seeing past his rules and regulations to say that maybe Dr. Pavlov is onto something and that more heart injuries should be survivable.  Dr. Pavlov, at his age, is pushing the envelope.  Kosorotov doesn’t even see the envelope despite the fact that it restricts his movements to the point of inactivity.

Tufanov makes an absolutely stunning statement, look down around 413.  The question about 13 vs. 14 wounds on the right neck is fundamental to supporting Pranaitis’ claim about the features of ritual murder.  Tufanov was involved in the second autopsy which was supposed to open the door to this kind of proof.  He also signed the autopsy report imported to Kiev by Chaplinsky for that purpose.  In an argument about the accuracy of the photos Tufanov took on March 23, not only does it turn out that the photos do not qualify as official records, they don’t even match the specimen.  Boldyrev goes back to the corpse but since the autopsy report signed by Tufanov does not provide a count of these wounds, Boldyrev has to ask Tufanov whether he remembers how many wounds were on the corpse.  And Tufanov says he didn’t look at the corpse.  It is one more step in a chain of admissions and statements that prove Tufanov had no clue how to do his job, either technically or in the issue of following protocol needed to assure a chain of custody and protection of evidence against tampering.

Judge:  Fyodor Boldyrev 

            Criminal Prosecutor, Oscar Vipper
            Civil Prosecutor Georgy Zamyslovsky
            Private Civil Prosecutor Aleksey Shmakov 

            Oscar Gruzenberg
Nikolay Karabchevsky
Dmitry Grigorevich-Barsky
Alexandr Zarudny
Vasily Maklakov

Contradicts himself
Brought back due to discussion about photos versus specimens
Rebuttal to Kosorotov
Written conclusions
Read out
Questions for the psychiatrists
Zhenya Cheberyak
Discussion of his death
Proposals for later scriptural testimony

* The discussion starts at statement 238, and then Tufanov is called in for a tie-breaker at 348.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved




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